Mini ‘how-to’ Bluetooth/Wifi combo for Raspberry PI
Stick’em with the pointy end
Virtual and not so Virtual Space
Be Still my Bleeding Heart …
The Never-ending Privacy Battle
The Many Sides of Bitcoin
Cyber Jihadists
Hacker Gangs
The New Old War
The Sacred Executioner
Scripting Aphrodites
Mini ‘how-to’ Bluetooth/Wifi combo for Raspberry PI I recently purchased the Cirago USB Bluetooth/Wifi combo to use with my raspberry pi. All things considered, I am quite pleased. Being reasonably versed in google-fu, helped, of course. Since I want the freedom to do some mobile tinkering, I need to access the pi sans a lan. That, and my latest wild hair project […]
Stick’em with the pointy end Since I have been spending a great deal of my time playing in the field of 3D design and printing, I have only recently stumbled upon, and had time to read, “Privacy for Me and Not for Thee,” penned by Catherine A. Fitzpatrick, a human rights activist whom I first encountered in the virtual world […]
Virtual and not so Virtual Space Not long ago, someone asked if I liked 3D printing better than virtual worlds. The short answer is, equally but differently.
Be Still my Bleeding Heart … “Secure web servers are the equivalent of heavy armored cars. The problem is, they are being used to transfer rolls of coins and checks written in crayon by people on park benches to merchants doing business in cardboard boxes from beneath highway bridges. Further, the roads are subject to random detours, anyone with a screwdriver […]
The Never-ending Privacy Battle This brings me back to the Hundredpercent American. To some extent he is a pet of mine. I have always rather liked him, because he has some promising qualities. For instance, he has enormous hospitality. I used to feel personally complimented by the amazing warm-hearted hospitality showered on me by Americans. […] When I realized […]
The Many Sides of Bitcoin Pariah, darling, or somewhere in between. Bitcoin has continued to linger in the daily media spotlight since the shuttering of darknet’s black-market drug bazaar, Silk Road, and the subsequent announcement of the arrest of its alleged owner, Ross William Ulbricht (aka DPR), on October 2, 2013. Media mavens have long cast bitcoin as a sort […]
Cyber Jihadists “We’re facing a very great threat of loosely-coupled, organizational networks that increasingly rely on IT infrastructure to coordinate their movements and recruit young disenfranchised, apathetic guys as suicidal pawns in a sophisticated, dispersed movement. (…)” (AHM, Usenet, September 21, 2001)
Hacker Gangs Meet Jim Script Kiddie (skiddie). He is the guy (usually in his early to mid teens) who comes into a hacker forum, asking inane questions like, “how can I be a hacker?” He also tends to over-indulge in “hacker speak” making him look pretty much like a moron to seasoned (and not so) computer netizens.
The New Old War In 1956, FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover initiated a program, code-named COINTELPRO (counter intelligence program) ushering in what would become the mainstay for how intelligence communities dealt with domesitic affairs. The sole directive of this program was “to expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize” the activities of various dissidents and their leaders.
The Sacred Executioner In his book, “The Sacred Executioner,” Hyam Maccoby notes: “A figure in mythology that has received little attention is that of the Sacred Executioner. […] By taking the blame for the slaying, he is performing a great service to society, for not only does he perform the deed, but he takes upon himself the blame […]
Scripting Aphrodites On Wednesday, April 13, 2006, 10-year-old Jamie Rose Bolin was reported missing by her father. Investigators thought she may have been abducted by someone she met online. Oklahoma law enforcement suspected her abductor might be heading just across the border to Texas and requested Texas issue an Amber alert.
image Mini ‘how-to’ Bluetooth/Wifi combo for Raspberry PI
image Stick’em with the pointy end
image Virtual and not so Virtual Space
image Be Still my Bleeding Heart …
image The Never-ending Privacy Battle
image The Many Sides of Bitcoin
image Cyber Jihadists
image Hacker Gangs
image The New Old War
image The Sacred Executioner
image Scripting Aphrodites

Reclaiming the Innocents

Childhood is deemed by our society to be the age of innocence–free from the adult burdens of working to meet physical and psychological needs. Optimistically, a child need not worry about whether they will have shelter, where their next meal will come from, whether or not they are loved. Or safe, for that matter.

These are basic tenets all children, world-wide, deserve. Sadly, this is not always the case. Some children are beaten, raped, and sometimes killed. For those who survive, we cannot restore their innocence. Nor can we restore their perception of safety. In that child’s eyes, the world is indeed an unsafe place to be. For these reasons alone, of the crimes that should galvanize–nay. demand–people to collective action, those that are perpetrated against children top the list.

While attending the annual HTCIA conference in the late 1990s I was again painfully reminded of the insidious monster that threatens to devour the innocence of our nations’ children. In 2001 a two-year long sting“Operation Avalanche began in 1999, when Postal Inspectors found that a husband and wife in Ft. Worth, TX, were using a Web site to advertise and distribute child pornography. The majority of their business profits came from the subscription sales of child pornography-in just one month, the business grossed as much as $1.4 million. In partnership with the Dallas Police Department’s ICAC Task Force, investigators determined that customers could subscribe to child pornography Web sites through a Ft. Worth post office box or via the Internet. The site also had a classified ads section, allowing customers to place or respond to personal ads for child pornography. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s Cyber Tipline received more than 250 complaints against the Web site from citizens around the world.”–code name Operation Avalanche–ICAC and the USPS dismantled the largest-known comercial child pornography operation in the nation’s history. In 2004, New York Times journalist Peter Landesman, notes that the United States is the leading consumer of child sex slave trafficking“In fact, the United States has become a major importer of sex slaves. Last year, the C.I.A. estimated that between 18,000 and 20,000 people are trafficked annually into the United States. The government has not studied how many of these are victims of sex traffickers, but Kevin Bales, president of Free the Slaves, America’s largest anti-slavery organization, says that the number is at least 10,000 a year. John Miller, the State Department’s director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, conceded: “That figure could be low. What we know is that the number is huge.” (Landesman, 2004). The reported numbers, if they are to be believed, are astronomical“Bales estimates that there are 30,000 to 50,000 sex slaves in captivity in the United States at any given time.” (Landesman, 2004). This admittedly begs an answer to the question, how is it that a prosperous and civilized country allowed child sex slave trafficking to reach the levels that it has?

Consider however that, as a first world nation, our country is viewed by many as the promised land, thereby making it easy to not only lure“In Eastern European capitals like Kiev and Moscow, dozens of sex-trafficking rings advertise nanny positions in the United States in local newspapers; others claim to be scouting for models and actresses.” (Landesman, 2004) unsuspecting victims, but by its very nature–the multi-faceted culture, with its mixed marriages and politically correct, don’t ask, don’t tell, mentality–hide these victims in plain sight. Recall, Joseph Edward Duncan III was aprehended only after photos of Dylan and Shasta Groene were televised and distributed across several states. Luring unsuspecting victims with empty promises is but one avenue however. Appallingly, and most certainly beyond the pale, some children are sold into sex slavery by the the very people who should be protecting them–their parents“She was angry that the agent who bought her eldest child, Saikun, in 1999 took her to Bangkok, some 460 miles away, rather than a nearby city as promised. It did not concern La Chai that Saikun would be forced to have sex with as many as eight men a day.” (Perrin, SF Chronicle, 2002).

Another problem is the alleged involvement of everything from government officials, to lawyers, doctors, law enforcement, and mental health workers, thereby supporting the victims’ perception that there is no way out“Who can expect a young woman trafficked into the U.S., trapped in a foreign culture, perhaps unable to speak English, physically and emotionally abused and perhaps drug-addicted, to ask for help from a police officer, who more likely than not will look at her as a criminal and an illegal alien? Even Andrea, who was born in the United States and spoke English, says she never thought of escaping, “because what’s out there? What’s out there was scarier. We had customers who were police, so you were not going to go talk to a cop. We had this customer from Nevada who was a child psychologist, so you’re not going to go talk to a social worker. So who are you going to talk to?” (Landesman, 2004). Or back, for that matter. Because in some instances the victims’ culture brands them “damaged goods“The families don’t want them back,” Sister Veronica, a nun who helps run a rescue mission for trafficked prostitutes in an old church in Mexico City, told me. “They’re shunned.” (Landesman, 2004)” and in others, threats to harm their families become the ties that bind. The less obvious though equally profound question, once they escape, where do they go? They are indeed strangers in a strange land–one that is paradoxically empathetic and indifferent.

Needless to say, combatting this very real problem is no small feat. It is presently being addressed from numerous angles and on different levels. In 2004, HR3913 was introduced to the House of Representatives, 108th Congress. HR3913, among other things, calls for the death penalty for “kingpins of child sex slave trafficking enterprises.” The government also has a special visa program for trafficking victims as well as safe houses operating throughout the country. Identifying, investigating, and rescuing the victims, as well as proscuting the perpetrators is another story altogether.

Enter the media. In February 2005, 48 Hours televised “Inside the Dark World of Sex SlavesPosing as traffickers from America, 48 Hours crews went undercover, hoping to rescue a victim of this insidious industry. To infiltrate this world, crews hired streetwise journalists Paul Radu and Daniel Neamu as guides..” Correspondent, Peter van Sant infiltrated a sex slave trafficking ring in Bucharest, culminating in the purchaseOnce in the car, 48 Hours hands over the rest of the cash. In less time than it takes to buy groceries, 48 Hours had bought a human being. of a young woman. After secreting her away to a safe-house, they returned stateside for a tour down American sex-slave lane, resulting in the rescue of one victim who testified against the CarretoJosue Flores Carreto, Gerardo Flores Carreto and Daniel Perez Alonso — all Mexican nationals — admitted that for more than a decade, beginning in 1991, they recruited young, uneducated Mexican women from impoverished backgrounds, smuggled them from Mexico to the United States and forced them to engage in prostitution. family–a group ICE had been attempting to dismantle for years. The other whose desperate and yet, courageous move, landed sex slave trader Alexander Rashkovsky in a California prison. In a Chicago Sun Times Crime, Inc. special, Federal Courts Reporter, Steve Warmbir tells a similar tragic story.

While the media continues to educate the public, law enforcement tenaciously pursues traffickers. In July 2005, a task force of 400 local and federal officers raided several San Francisco brothels suspected in sex slave trafficking. The raid was the culmination of a nine-month investigation code-named, Operation Gilded CageThe San Francisco sex trade ring had set up an elaborate operation that used a travel agency in the city to entice and bring in young women from Korea and a cab company to move them around, investigators said.. It will take more than our legal system and the media to beat this monster however. It will take people from all walks of life coming together to protect the planet’s most precious hope for the future. To reclaim the innocents.